Kenya Floods – Building Collapses in Nairobi, Thousands Displaced Across the Country

Ongoing heavy rain continues to cause panic and destruction in several parts of Kenya. Flooding has affected the counties of Wajir, Marsabit and Turkana, where thousands have been displaced.

However, the worst hit area if the nation’s capital, Nairobi. On Thursday, 28 April, Nairobi recorded 85mm of rain in just 3 hours, with severe flooding reported across parts of the city. The average monthly rainfall for April in Nairobi is around 220mm, according to WMO.

Further heavy rainfall on Friday 29 April has resulted in flooding that has left several people dead and caused the collapse of walls and buildings in the city, including a large residential building in the district of Huruma.

Huruma Building Collapse

The six-story residential building collapsed late on Friday 29 April, 2015. Many are feared dead or missing, although it is unknown how many people were in the building at the time of the collapse. Some reports say that there were around 120 rooms in the building.

The Kenya Red Cross (KRCS) were quickly on the scene to carry out search and rescue operations, amidst what they described as “chaotic scenes”. Firefighters, military personnel and National Youth Service members were also on the scene. Late on Friday there were reports that 3 children and 1 adult had been rescued from the building and taken to Kenyatta National Hospital. Earlier today, Saturday 30 April, KRCS said that two more survivors were pulled from the debris of the collapsed building.

KRCS said that approximately 150 households have been affected in the area, with many of them currently camping at the chief’s camp in Kinyago village, Eastleigh.

Tracing the Missing

Desks have been set up at the CDF Hall in Huruma, staffed by personnel from KRCS to help families and friends trace their loved ones and to help with counselling of victims and families. There is also a telephone hotline to report missing persons – Telephone: +254 715 820 219.

Photos of the Huruma Building Collapse

The latest disaster is an almost identical repeat of the tragedy that struck last year when a Nairobi building collapsed in the early hours of Tuesday, 12 May 2015 after floods and torrential rain. At least 9 people were killed in the collapse.

Nairobi Floods – Four Dead, Thousands Displaced

Elsewhere in the city, the floods have forced thousands from their homes and left at least 4 people dead.

KRCS Nairobi branch says it has began conducting assessment in Mathare and Mukuru following the heavy rains. It is estimated that about 1000 households have been affected in the two areas.

According to KRCS, the Nairobi and Ngong rivers overflowed yesterday, “affecting Hazina, Fuata Nyayo, Land Mawe, Industrial Area, South C and Enterprise Road”.

The flooding caused chaos on the city’s streets. Several roads entering and exiting the city are seriously flooded and vehicles are literally stuck in flood waters. The worst affected roads include Dennis Pritt Road, Lenana Road, Bunyala Road, Commercial Street and parts of Uhuru highway.

In the Kilimani area, 3km from the city centre, a perimeter wall in the neighbourhood of Russian Embassy and Department of Defence (DoD) offices collapsed, killing at least four people and leaving 3 others injured.

The injured were rushed to the nearby hospital for treatment, according to the Kilimani chief of police, quoted by local media.

Turkana, Wajir and Marsabit Counties

In Turkana county, 312 homes have been destroyed by flash floods in Kalokol ward, Turkana central sub county, leaving thousands displaced, according to KRCS. Two major roads were cut off by floods making assessment and response difficult to carry out in the affected areas.

Flooding has also been reported in Wajir county, where roads have been blocked, and also in Marsabit county, where two boys are missing.

Forecasts and Warnings

Flood warning and advisory updates by the Kenya Meteorological Services had informed people that there was at least 80% probability of occurrence of heavy rains.

Further heavy rain is expected over the coming days. A five day forecast by the Kenya Meteorological service indicates continued precipitation in several parts of the country and many people are likely to be inconvenienced as they anticipate to attend annual labour day celebration rallies in various counties this weekend.

Weather warnings for Kenya. Image: Kenya Met Department
Weather warnings for Kenya. Image: Kenya Met Department


Reporting by Benard Juma, with additional reporting by Richard Davies.